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James Bond: Black Box #1 Review

Do you like skiing? Do you like James Bond? Well hell, Benjamin Percy’s new James Bond series is right up your alley. We check it out and determine: Is it good?

James Bond: Black Box #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)

So what’s it about? The summary reads:

Black Box Part One – Whiteout The next epic adventure for 007 kicks off in the snowbound French Alps, where Bond finds himself in the crosshairs of an assassin who targets other assassins. This is the first puzzle piece in a larger adrenaline-fueled mystery that will send Bond across the globe to investigate a digital breach that threatens global security.

Why does this book matter?

Given Daniel Craig seems to be in no rush to do another Bond (or another one ever again) it appears our main Bond fix is through Dynamite. Luckily they’re producing solid comics with the spy we all know and love. They also don’t seem to have any trouble pulling in good writers with Warren Ellis and now Benjamin Percy (Teen Titans, Green Arrow). A lot of reasons to pick this up!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Hitting the slopes!

Shockingly Percy has managed to stuff this first issue with every iconic Bondism you could think of, from the car to a Bond babe. That’s a striking difference from Warren Ellis’ run, which took two or so story arcs to show off all the Bond goodies. The fact that this issue opens with a ski action sequence should tell you Percy is aiming to please fans of the movies. I can’t think of another action series that had a skiing action sequence and it delivers here. Outside of this action there’s a solid premise involving digital identities being stolen and a fun Q sequence not to miss. All in all, this issue has so much to love and that includes the somewhat darker tone of Bond himself.

Rapha Lobosco draws a mean issue too. The closing pages show off a foreign land in a really cool 80’s style with excellent colors by Chris O’Halloran. The art somewhat reminds me of Jason Masters’ in the first James Bond run from Dynamite as it’s a thinner line that feels more realistic. Cityscapes and slopes look great, and the action feels tension filled and thrilling.

It can’t be perfect can it?

With 14 or so of its pages devoted to the opening action sequence there isn’t a ton of content in the issue. Don’t get me wrong, this scene is paced well and exciting, but it feels as though it drags on longer than it needed to. That leaves the remaining issue to set up the threat, a visit with Q, and then two–albeit beautiful–pages to showcase the new locale and nothing more. This is a fun, action-first sort of comic that may be a quicker read than you might like.

He deserves to die!

Is It Good?

Feeling nostalgic for James Bond? This has everything you’d want from the series in a thrilling and exciting package. Thrilling and action packed, this hits all the hallmarks of the James Bond franchise. Just don’t expect the read to take too long.


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